Over the last few weeks I have been at conferences listening to discussions about where “The Future of Work” or TFOW is headed. There have been some really insightful presentations given by people such as Karen O’ Reilly of Employmum, Marguerite O’ Sullivan of Johnson & Johnson and Gerard McDonough of PWC. There is one central theme running through all the presentations, the concept of what work is and how people will work is changing so quickly. It is happening so fast that it is so hard to predict what changes will take place in 6 months’ time let alone on a longer term. What is clear is that work will be very different in 5 / 10 years’ time. The hour’s people work, where they work and how they work are all changing. Yes there will still be people who are really focused on their career and want to advance in the corporate world but there will also be a new economy for people who want to feel part of something bigger and care passionately about social issues. Some will want to work full time, others when they want to.
The challenge and opportunity for employers is how to manage this change. You can always stick to the belief that these changes are only a fad and nothing fundamentally will change and see how that works out or you can view it as a chance to attract and retain the best employees. In the current economic environment it is so hard to hire people so by offering something different you can stand out from the crowd.
Flexible working, remote working and embracing diversity in the workplace are what every company will need to embrace and actively promote. The current generation of employees will appreciate the changes but more importantly the next generation will expect this from their employers. Only by embracing these concepts will companies be ready for TFOW and the best and most capable employees to boost productivity and importantly profitability. There are so many potential employees out there not in the work force who would love to come back to work but the 9-5 office job doesn’t work for them but imagine what you could achieve if you had flexible or remote roles?